Sunday, February 27, 2011

Elise's Birth Story

First written on April 8th 2009

I'm so sorry to even have to write this, but I know many people want answers and I can only provide some of the medical ones.
You may not want to read if you are currently pregnant or just in a sad place, but I think I need to get it out myself.
For the cliff notes version, feel free to skip to the last paragraph.

Here is Elise's Birth Story:
Sunday, April 5, 2009, 36 weeks pregnant 3 pm: I started having contractions about 20 minutes apart...more painful than Braxton Hicks, but not quite labor like, I could still sit through them. After about 3 hours, I was almost ready to call the doc and see if I should go in, they just stopped. They did return about 8 pm and I continued to contract about once an hour through the night.
Monday, April 6, 2009: In the morning, with the rush of getting out the door to Andrew's mommy and me class (today was more like Mommy, Daddy, Sissy and me, lol), I really didn't pay too much attention to the contractions, they were still about an hour apart. I did not give myself my Lovenox (blood thinner) shot just in case I ended up in labor. I actually had an appointment for tomorrow to get Heparin, a quicker acting thinner. As the contractions increased to about a half hour apart I called the doc to see if this might be a normal pattern that will have me in later so I know I made the right decision to not take my shot. The nurse called back and said the doctor advised me to give myself my blood thinner shot. So I did.
11 am: Almost immediately I lost my mucus plug. Luckily I was at the store and grabbed a copy of “what to expect” to reassure myself this was also normal and not something I needed to go in for. Sure enough, some people loose their plug days or even weeks before delivery, so while I was a little nervous, I wasn’t too worried.
12 pm: We went out to lunch and the contractions started to come closer, still only averaging about 20 minutes apart.
1 pm: We put the kids down for a nap and Mike got ready for work. The contractions were now becoming more painful, more labor-like and they were getting closer together, averaging 10-15 minutes apart.
2 pm: Mike left for work as I packed a bag for the hospital, just in case. No sooner was Mike out the door, I just knew I was in labor and probably only had a few short hours before this baby was going to be born. I called the doc and was told to come in. Mike arrived at work and immediately turned around and came home.
During all this time, Autumn is not napping, Emily is in need of a ride to a birthday party and I am looking for a sitter to come be with the kids.
3 pm: Pascale returned home to watch the children and Mike and I dropped Em off at her party on the way to the hospital. Contractions are now only about 5 minutes apart and are very painful.
330 pm We arrive at the hospital and go into triage. The nurse is putting the monitors on, but is unable to find the baby’s heartbeat, so she called the head nurse to try. Meanwhile my midwife (Lyn, who delivered both Autumn and Andrew) checked me and I was 7.5 centimeters dialated! Lyn also got the ultrasound machine to find the baby’s heartbeat for the monitoring belts. She could not see it. She called the doctor in to try. Mike said he could see it on her face, that it was serious. I remember him looking away and getting upset.
I was contracting and annoyed that things were not moving along quicker. I was frustrated at the incompetence. The doctor declared that there was no heartbeat and the baby was deceased. This did not make any sense and was not acceptable, but in the middle of contracting I decided that if there was no baby’s health to consider, no baby to nurse after delivery than I wanted some drugs to remove me and the pain from the situation. I was given some nubain in my IV and besides making me feel just a bit spacey, it did nothing. By the next contraction I was in the delivery room demanding more drugs to further remove me from the situation. Lyn went to get some and change, but before she could even do that, I felt pressure and was ready to deliver. Lyn broke my water. On the next contraction, I took 3 breaths and pushed 3 times before Elise came out all at once. All I heard was Mike gasp, I couldn’t look. They had already asked me if I wanted to hold her when she was born and of course I did. So after wiping her off a little, putting her hat on, and wrapping her in a blanket, they handed me my angel. She did not look plump and pink like babies are supposed to. Her skull was sunken, her lips were blue, her right eye was red and bruised, but it didn’t take too long before I saw right past that and there was my beautiful angel that would never take a breath, never take a step, never say a word, never met her brother and sisters.
Elise Renee was delivered at 4:45 pm. She weighed 4 pounds 1 ounce and was 17 inches long.
The rest of the evening was a blur of activity and emotion, all for another writing, but during that time Lyn did come in to explain what happened. Simply put it was an umbilical cord accident. Elise not only had the cord wrapped around her neck 5 times, but there was also a knot in it. That is why she died. I also had no amniotic fluid. When my water was broken it was almost all meconium. Elise must have had a bowel movement from stress. It is assumed this all happened about 2 days ago. There would have been no way to detect it or stop it had it been detected.

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